Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday Open Thread

How was your earthquake experience?  Quite timely given our recent discussion. Again, put it on our list of topics for one of the first PTA/PTO meetings at your school.
Seattle Times interview with new SCPTSA president, Manuela Slye. I did find this opening paragraph interesting.
Parent-teacher organizations are the unofficial power brokers in almost every school district. And now, for the first time, a Latina woman is leading the organization that represents more than 80 of them in Seattle.
One, is PTA “a powerbroker?” I certainly see. That they have a place at the SPS table. I think the power is more outside SPS than within. And the SCPTSA generally goes along with what the Superintendent says more often than not.

Second, it would have been interesting for readers to know that while their are 80 PTAs, there are also PTOs and, as well, many schools that have none at all. The Title One school I have volunteered in has many Latino parents.  The PTA isn’t strong but many of those parents do come into the school and work in classrooms.  It helps that we have a couple of teachers as well as a Family Support worker who speak Spanish.

I absolutely agree with her that those who work in the district, including JSCEE, should have mandatory racial equity training.  I was more than a little surprised to learn that while the Board had two nearly full-day Board retreats just for that training, it’s not required for those working at JSCEE.

To note, people occasionally write me with grammar/typo corrections.  Hey Seattle Times, third paragraph, “took the reigns?”  I think it’s “reins.”

I missed this story in mid-June but here it is from the Times.
It’s likely not many residents have heard about a last-minute amendment tucked into the state’s transportation budget back in 2015.  
That measure tacked on a fee to Sound Transit construction contracts, with revenues creating a one-time opportunity for King County to spend about $318 million to improve academic outcomes in early learning, K-12 schools and higher education.  
On Monday, council members will meet to consider legislation that, for now, has blanks where the council would have to determine exactly what percentage of the $318 million should go to which part of the education system: early learning, K-12 or higher education.
What’s on your mind?


Mike said...
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Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

This IS an open thread but we won’t be discussing Ms. Castro-Gill here. I will start a different thread to answer some of these comments.

I will say that “Halvy” you are not welcome here, now or ever. Go back to your sad blog and let the grownups talk.

Mike said...

Meant to write cachet, not cache, of the letters PhD.

20k. said...

Loved Danny Westneats piece in today’s times.

There will never be enough money. I’m done.

He writes:

But the constant sense of crisis, even with all this new money, is a political catastrophe in the making. State lawmakers, teachers unions, School Board members: You can’t raise our taxes this much, to spend so much more, but then, in the same motion, cut back on programs and insist you’re broke. Still broke...

Billy Billion said...

"We are going to be moving up this list, and dramatically so. The budget the School Board approved Wednesday spends 39 percent more money than three years ago — $300 million more — though there are about a thousand fewer kids in the schools."

Programs are closing. We're facing additional debt. Amplify was never fully funded. How much will the Advanced Learning Task Force cost the district?


Billy Billion said...

This board can not push the next board deeper into debt.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a good time for the city to take over the school district? At least all the administrative work and managing the buildings. The bloated city staff should be able to take over without any new hiring.

Do it.

Anonymous said...

Do it, there is never a good time to let the city take over, just look at Chicago to see what happens when they do.


Anonymous said...

Harris needs to go. Unless she was miss quoted, she is blaming Special ed for the mess SPS is in.

Do it

Melissa Westbrook said...

Do It, where did you see this quote?

I’m with Jen; you may not like how the district is functioning but the City would not do better. It might be worth considering to have the City manage the buildings, though.

Anonymous said...


I asked Harris: How is this possible when we’re spending twenty grand per student?

“I can tell you our costs have gone up tremendously, as have our salaries,” she said. She cited, specifically, that special education services required by various state and federal mandates are costing nearly $200 million, about 20 percent of the total budget. Yet it isn’t fully funded by the state or the feds and most important, isn’t close to meeting the actual need, she said.

Do it

Anonymous said...

How is that blaming? The two elements of the budget which have gone up the most are salaries and SPED. That's why we are spending so much more. Should she not have said so? She also says we should spend more on SPED as it's not enough right now- seems pretty friendly to SPED to me.

Other Side

Anonymous said...

SPED is very complex issue that has been discussed at nauseam here on this blog.

Over the past 4 years I havn't seen any action by this board to address the various issues with SPED. After the RCAP work I can't believe this board did not take the steps to prevent the crisis.

Digging under the hood reveals that no one was piloting the ship.

SPED parent

Jet City mom said...

Its good to hear that they are finally spending money on students with IEPs, if true.
When my kid was in SPS, I was on the budget committee and the principals attitude was if Sped money went to the general fund, the special Ed student would benefit.

Anonymous said...

Jet City mom, it's hard to believe there is more # being spent on students with IEPs. Has anybody seen better outcomes, or is the expenditure just more babysitting in the classrooms and on legal? We need effective special education leadership and more accountability and ownership by the education directors. Juneau so far has not touched this topic.


Anonymous said...

If the board and Superintendent are so worried about "students of color who are furthest from educational justice," why aren't SpEd students mentioned in the new strategic plan?

Or, using this idea of "targeted universalism," will they be working on ways to improve services ALSO for SpEd "students of color who are furthest from educational justice," under the belief that improving SpEd services for that group will improve SpEd services for other groups, too? Is there any indication that is their plan? I don't see anything in the strategic plan that suggests it is, but gosh, if they really care about "students of color who are furthest from educational justice" wouldn't it makes sense that they focus on SpEd, too?

The board should include something in Juneau's performance evaluation specific to SpEd. Nothing fluffy--something meaningful.

accountability please

Anonymous said...

Do it is taking a quote from the Seattle times that Harris made regarding SPED being 20% of the overall budget. Seems she knows her facts. She's a hard worker. Objective viewer of community input. And a decent policy wonk.

I say do it has got it all wrong.


Anonymous said...

@MSRP Wow you catch on fast.


Anonymous said...

MSRP, I do not read Harris comments as blaming special education expenses per se, as opposed to pulling out a factoid. How have legal costs gone up? She should really get back in there and give us the full run down of what costs of have gone up by what percentage, versus pulling out the costs of students with disabilities which are always a huge easy target for trolls. That said, I agree completely with "accountability please" that Harris's comments miss the context. First Nylund and now Juneau, 2 people who are not committed to special education leadership and quality. This has happened and is happening on Harris's watch. We should all hold her responsible.

concerned taxpayer

Anonymous said...

Dealing with medical issues ect is not the responsibility of public schools. The vast majority of SPED kids get zip ,nothing ,so Leslie is full of it. Maybe Leslie is just afraid to use the A word?

I'm not sure how the schools got saddled with footing the bill for the medical issues. Nowhere in the laws does it state that schools have to deal with those types of issues.

Time for the inclusion pendulum to swing back to center. Have the state pay for outside services directly since it's the state's paramount duty not the city's.

I suspect there is some sight of hand going on with the 200 million because I know for a fact that many schools get SPED funding but can't track it to a student.

Leslie knows this but her sole focus is Leslie. How she speaks to other board members is disgusting, no wonder they all quit.

Oh look who her endorsement buddy is , Michael DeBell, Former Seattle School Board President

I'm sure she will move on to November, but that's when things will get nasty like 2015.

bumpy ride

Melissa Westbrook said...

Bumpy ride, The “A” word? Don’t be cryptic.

Director Harris is not all about herself; I’ve never met anybody less like that. You may not like her performance but to say this is about her is wrong. Also, I have never heard her be disrespectful to any other director. Tell us an example of that.

Anonymous said...

Picture this, you all know the visual "Polly want's a cracker"?

Now replace "Polly" with "Harris" " and "cracker" with "middle college high school"

She didn't miss the opportunity to disrespect/embarrass Scott Pinkham and rehash her only talking point from 2015.

Harris is a one trick phoney.

Just me

Anonymous said...

Oh ya I forgot to add, did you notice how she love bombed Pinkham right before destroying him. She was basically campaigning and has been campaigning from the dais for months and it HAS TO STOP!

Just me

Anonymous said...

I like Harris though I wish her lecturing staff from the dais would translate into actual no votes. If you want her replaced, you’ve got to identify reasonable alternative.

I see no evidence that Crystal Liston has more than a superficial understanding of how the district operates. Molly Mitchell has been a continual source of strife at her child’s school, claiming that every interaction she has with staff or parents is rife with racism. Strangers who don’t approach her at school pick up = racism. PTA’s unwillingness to give her a personal budget line item for equity projects = racism. A white parent volunteering to head the PTA equity group = racism. PTA purchasing groceries for student families from Amazon rather than a local farmer = racism. Her constant demands for attention are exhausting and she never helps out with anything.

Harris 4ever

Anonymous said...

Harris is totally passing the buck. She literally blamed the lack of actual education available per dollar in SPS on the.... special education students. Of course. Director after director. Or better described, fat-cat after fat-cat. Now Chief Fat-CafJessee is leaving? After inflating his salary up from a commoner. Job posted and everything. It looks like fat-cat-sped-hopping has worked out well for him personally. Good for him. Not so much, for the kids. 20% of the costs are for 15% of the students, plus 100% of the preschoolers? So? Why is Harris calling that out? Students with disabilities makeup a proportionate chunk of the the students who are funded by the state, and are in the district. Was it the special ed students who decided to throw away 10 million dollars renting a computer game to do science? And millions more for “training”. Why do they need training to say “ok kids, please click NEXT”? Did the expensive sped kids tell them to do that? How many sped kids will actually even get to do the computer program? Was it the special ed kids who decided they needed a director of “school based services “. (Hmmm.. aren’t 99.999% of special ed services in a school). Was it the sped kids who gave up their preschools to the city? For free? So they could spend their entire day being trucked off to Old Van Asselt? And pay for that transportation? Amazing how expensive THEY are. Harris step down. Please and thank you.

Blame Sped

Anonymous said...

He's not leaving. He got a promotion.

Other side

Anonymous said...

@Blame Sped, that quote is not evidence of her "blaming sped." If SpEd costs make up a disproportionate part of the budget, that's just the way it is. It's important for people to understand that all this money think is rolling in isn't really as available for most schools and students as they may think. She mentioned that salaries are up, too. She essentially said that costs for sped services are high and we don't get enough money to cover these sufficiently, just like we don't get enough funding to cover everyone else sufficiently, either. That's hardly blaming sped. It's blaming the state and feds.

I have a kid with a chronic medical condition, which is expensive (e.g., medications, frequent medical visits, specialty support services, etc.). I have another kid who does not have special medical needs. Do I "blame" one kid for our high medical expenses, or just acknowledge that we all have unique needs and it's my job to "serve" both by providing the medical and supplemental needs each needs, which is, by the way, equitable? When I track our family budget, however, I break costs down by kid, since it's important to understand how each factors into the overall (because the breakdown may change as services are added/removed, as kids move out, etc.).

data matter

Anonymous said...

Data matters, the legislated mechanism for high costs students is to file for safety net funds. Is it the fault of the disabled kid that the district doesn’t bother to file for these funds or get the money back? Students in special education are SUPPOSED to be covered by the regular ed teachers. The state pays for them as regular ed students. Washington has nearly the lowest coverage for special education students in regular ed, of all states. Guess what? Kicking students into special ed classrooms, or special ed preschools IS EXPENSIVE. The regular teachers were supposed to teach them. The regular teachers were paid to teach them. Can they get their money back? Is that method that is both maximally ineffective AND maximally... inefficient the fault of the students with disabilities? When we are newly spending millions upon millions of dollars for out of district special ed contracts, are we supposed to blame the kids with disabilities? Why do we need to now spend $100,000 to $200,000 on whole groups of students? That’s new under Harris school board. Why to we continue to let the Seneca group run a daycare at $100,000 a pop, when they have no special education experience? That’s new under Harris school board.

It is true that “data matters.” But data also lies. Whipping up on special education as a hog at the trough is a well worn trope. In reality, it’s the Goto piggy bank for all the district’s woes. Steal their money, blame the kids.

Instead of the favored practice of “blaming special education”, why not examine efficacy? How are those massively expensive outside contracts working? Why don’t regular teachers teach students with disabilities? What curricula are effective for different populations in Sped? Instead of “blame” let’s focus on quality. What’s working? And why? Failure in this regard will always lead to the most expensive practice.

Blame Sped

PS. Special Ed staff is on the same salary schedule as all other teachers.

Anonymous said...

Harris has been the board president for 2 years now, right? Harris knows all about the $$ issues with SPED because they are not new. Do you think all these financial issues are new?

Maybe there's is something else going on here?

If we shame the legislators using SPED children then maybe we can get even more money to waste, maybe we can then use SPED funds to payback all the levy funds we spent on other things? Maybe we can get some advance learning funds wrapped in a SPED blanket.

Whatever Harris say's should be filtered through the Democrat political lens.


Anonymous said...

According to Melissa SPS has been spending in a range of $1,000,000 to $450,000 per year for a single student. How is this even possible?


LM said...

If 30% (or whatever) of Seattle's easiest to educate students (high enough SES to afford private and appealing enough to the school to make it through the admission process) weren't in private school, the expensive to educate students wouldn't make up such a large percentage of students in SPS.

When SPS provides SPED services to private school students, does the money for that come out of the SPS budget? And also for diagnosis?

How does Seattle's high rate of private school attendance effect our SPED budget?

Anonymous said...

Over the years Seattle Public Schools has been a victim of SPED violation hunters. It's a strategy where a parent searches for a district with $$ and weak SPED services. Once the target is found they move to the district and enroll their child into the worst school for SPED services then sit back and wait for violations. Once they have sufficient evidence they file a lawsuit and are soon off the a resident facility which cost $400,000 plus per year. These type of suits are always settled by SPS.

The terms of the settlement agreement are sealed so the media rarely reports the scam if ever. It's a sensitive issue that is best avoided. (so they claim)

SPED watcher

Anonymous said...

LM. The state used to pay for sped students up to 12.7% of the total, plus all the preschoolers with disabilities. That cap went up to something above 13%. It doesn’t matter how many kids go private, the district gets sped funding for 13+% of the total, plus a significant number of preschoolers who add to the percentage artificially. It behooves ALL districts financially , to identify the maximum number of kids as disabled as possible to collect the maximum state funding. Then, financially speaking, it makes sense to provide minimal services. Eg, collect the most, spend the least. Complaining about the kids is necessary. That way they can justify scrimping on services because those kids are just so”expensive “. Thanks Harris.

Blame game

Anonymous said...

SPED watcher, that is absolutely hilarious in the world of trolling. You get a blue ribbon for the best worst trolling foolishness. Be gone, troll!

Parent reader

Melissa Westbrook said...

J, I never said SPS was spending $1M on a single student. They are spending $400,000 on a single student for, I believe, a residential facility out of state. It’s hard to get the district to explain this because of privacy issues but I sure would like the Board to be clear on these students and their needs.

LM, I believe the district is responsible for all Sped kids living in the boundaries of the district, no matter where they go to school. My understanding is that those students are eligible for fed/state funds but the district must backfill to provide the complete service.

SPED Watcher, what is the evidence for your claims?

I’m a little mystified about this blame game on Harris when there are six other people on the Board, one of whom (Geary) ran on her Sped cred.

Anonymous said...

Who's defending Geary, but she made it clear to me while at NHHS that she was looking for higher ground and that blowing up the board would harm that vertical move.

We all know that they only need 4 board members to get along to conduct business as usual. BTW- I'm not going to dig out the comment about 1 million but you did say that. No big deal.

I'm sure you know you only need 4 rubber stampers ,that's all the staff needs and the other 3 can be marginalized and mostly ignored. Take the last meeting for example...WOW!

The last meeting removed the vale of togetherness don't you think? Special delivery by Ms. Pinkham and Harris.

So on we go and soon up will march 5 maybe 6 new souls looking for who knows what, but I hope there is at least one person who will shake things up and call things as they are and back it up with facts and not feelings. Not a socialist please! I prefer a nuts and bolts person.

Whoever you are please block out the noise and drink from a straw and not the fire hose because there will be lots of curve balls the folks at JSCEE will be throwing at you.

As it's been mentioned, Harris is the 2 term president of the board and allowing that budget out of committee showed poor leadership and judgement. At least that's what I think or they could have all voted NO once they realized the mess.

I would have to say unless there was a medical emergency it was inexcusable for Burke to absent, or was he protesting?

Harris is the odds on favorite to make it mostly because the others are not really serious contenders, but she should not seek to be the president. I don't know if she could stomach not being the president or how she would react if the new president spoke to her the way she speaks to others. "Don't do that" "don't do that" and the cocky facial smirks and body language are not needed nor are they helpful.

This also has been mention before. In 2015 Harris attacked her opponent at every chance because her opponent was a board member of the board that made a prudent financial decision. So don't you think Harris deserves the same treatment?

I doubt any of her opponents would do that. I do have to say that we know 2 will move on to Nov and in the General election I don't think the city's voters will be too happy with Harris and they might decide to roll the dice.


Getting Tired said...

Teacher benefits increased. The levy will cover $60M in state mandated healthcare and leave.


State funding is more transparent than levy funding. Teacher benefits, IMO, should come from state dollars- only. There would be a lot more transparency.

Anonymous said...

@Getting Tired

You read my mind. SPS thinks Levy money is there for the taking. I believe every levy in the past 10 has been victim of siphoning. SPS knows Seattle never votes NO!

Maybe we are at the tipping point.

Past Tired

Alsept Teresa said...

The teacher benefits are the state mandated family leave act. The district didn’t have a choice about doing it.
This has made it more difficult to hire part time people because the building has to pay the cost- something like $12,000 a year if it could be filled by one person instead.
The other big thing the state is doing, which costs a lot, is changing the healthcare in January. As a teacher, I wasn’t asked about this- I was just told.

Anonymous said...


It's not clear to me what you mean. Wage laws are not optional, however when Seattle built the minimum wage laws they created multiple loop holes. Of coarse the Monday club helped with the loop holes.

The benefits package stuff is tricky because some people just want to work part-time and these laws will eliminate those opportunities because of cost. Law makers need to rework the law to allow people to choose if they want a straight wage or one with benefits. You also might want to tell your union about your concerns. FYI, I worked at a job for 4 years once with zero wage increase because the other option was no job. It happens when you have performance based compensation which is not limited just to your performance but to the whole company's performance. I was happy just to have a job. No one is owed a job or benefits just for showing up and others should not ruin opportunities for entry level positions or casual labor positions.


Anonymous said...

@LM, the idea that private school students are "Seattle's easiest to educate students" is...false. Many families who can choose private schools specifically because their children are NOT easy to educate, and need something additional and/or different than what they can get in one-size-fits-all SPS classrooms. (By the way, is it cheaper to educate a higher SES student than a more typical SES student? Past figures I've seen re: average-cost-per-student by school were all over the board, and did NOT seem to align with average SES of families at that school. The district doesn't provide a lot of "extras" for high-FRL schools--and to they extent they do, these are often matched by parents at low-FRL schools. Plus, if low-FRL schools tend to get the more experienced teachers, they cost more...)

In the cases in which SPS does provide SPED services to private school students, SPS should be able to include those students in their numbers or state and federal sped funding. I hope you're not somehow implying that those students/families are somehow to blame for SPS financial woes, and/or that they are taking advantage of the district. Private school families pay their taxes just like everyone else, while using very little in the way of actual public ed services. They are, for the most part, subsidizing public education for the rest of us.

SPS needs to just figure out how to serve everyone with decent and appropriate services, and stop everyone from blaming everyone else.

serve all

Alsept Teresa said...

My point was just that much of the salary increase was due to the family leave act which effects all workers not just teachers. As someone with no children or living parents it doesn’t really help me any. I do however, think it’s a good thing.

I came to teaching later and have also worked jobs with no benefits or raises and that is why I prefer unions even if they aren’t perfect

Anonymous said...

Leslie Harris is just fine but I think change can we good. I am not familiar with her opponents but I have heard a large of number of West Seattle people where hoping for Manuela Slye to run for school board. Instead she took the presidency of SCPTSA. It was not the right time for her, I guess. She has been a constant presence in schools in this area and I did some research myself to find out what that was all about. Here:
- Highly educated Latina
- Early childhood educator
- Multilingual
- Parent of kids in elementary, middle and high schoolers
- SPED and AP parent
- School volunteer
- Leadership volunteer experience (PTSA, BLT, Steering committees, Task Forces) at Title 1 schools and schools in privileged neighborhoods
- Experience sitting in hiring panels at school and district levels
- Management/budget experience - she founded and directs two language immersion schools both north and south of the bridge canal
I have seen her in meetings. She is measured and composed. And not a very good public speaker, but you can't have it all.
Maybe she will get enough write-ins and we get her to serve. I wish

West Seattleite

Anonymous said...

Another factor never mentioned is property costs and taxes. Seattle school district pays nothing for these freebies. The cost to private schools for the land and taxes that they reside on is mind boggling. A small private school needs at least 20 million to even get the property and building to startup. So, while private schools in the area cost around 30 grand in tuition, at least half of that is rent/mortgage and taxes. The 20 grand spending per pupil in SPS is not encumbered by property acquisition. If it did, we’d see the real figures of more like 40 or 50 grand per student. I’m sure we would still blame it on the SPED kids.


Melissa Westbrook said...

WestSeattlite, you should start a campaign if you think Slye is good. That would be a first as far as I know but far fewer people vote in school board elections (as compared to say, City Council). It could happen. However, if Slye, like me, doesn’t want to be on the Board, she might refuse.

Anonymous said...

@ West Seattleite,

I don't know a thing about Manuela Slye, but I will point out that MANY parents in SPS are highly educated (race/ethnicity doesn't make one more/less qualified), are multilingual, have or have had kids at all grade levels, have kids with special needs (IEP, 504, HC, ELL, etc.), are regular school volunteers, etc. In other words, the assets you noted don't sound all that notable to me. Slye may still be a good candidate in the future if interested (I have no clue), but policies, beliefs, stance on key issues, focus areas, etc. are all way more important to me than a candidate's personal demographics and general resume.

Most parents probably aren't preschool teachers/founders, true. But many DO have equally (or even more) relevant experience working with underserved youth, social service programs, neighborhood organizations; managing large organizations; collaborating across stakeholder groups; working with community; reviewing budgets; writing policies; evaluating data/organizations/staff; etc.

I'd also suggest that while experience on district committees, task forces, and panels may give one some unique insights into how SPS functions (or doesn't!), it also may reflect that a candidate is "more of the same" in some cases. It's often not easy to get such a role unless you are seen as pro-district on whatever the issue is. If there's any indication that you're going to push agains the outcome the district wants, good luck being chosen for the group. This is not always the case, of course, but it seems to be the general pattern. Some school-based positions (e.g., BLT) are also nearly impossible for parents to access at their school, so while it may be a plus for someone lucky enough to be included, it's not really a level playing field.

Nothing against Slye, here--simply commenting on your premise.

Positions matter

LM said...

I wasn't trying to blame or imply anything with my question. I'm genuinely curious how SPS pays for speech therapy (or whatever other SPED service) for a student who isn't enrolled. How many SPED students are there in Seattle who aren't enrolled in SPS?

SPS seems to believe that low SES students cost more to educate. Otherwise why would you have all the equity tiers and levies and free dentist services and a nurse at school and free food and all the other stuff that SPS has at some schools but not all schools. South Shore HS is super expensive compared to the other high schools.

And private school applications get turned down all the time. Private schools are definitely not interested in every child.

Anonymous said...

I would like to own a Ferrari like Christie Brinkley but looking at my bank account through the equity lens I was told NO!

Will SPS use their self described equity lens when writting checks? Maybe the state should fund hard luck cases directly, why muddy up the district's accounting? Having a hard luck case listed in the budget makes it seem like the district did something wrong and that's always the case.

Medicare should cover these cases without it costing 100s of thousands of dollars.

Ms Equity

Anonymous said...

@Rent Nonprofit organizations operating schools are exempt from property tax.

Fairmount Parent

Summer Loss said...

Teachers contracts continue throughout the state. With experience, teachers have the capacity to earn $120K plus benefits.

There is a thing called summer loss. Students loose reading and math skills during the summer. With salaries reaching $120K, it is time for students experiencing summer loss to receive instruction. Do you think Seattle Education Association would agree?

Anonymous said...

1. not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached.
"a loose tooth"
synonyms: not fixed in place, not secure, insecure, unsecured, unattached; More
2. (of a garment) not fitting tightly or closely.
"she slipped into a loose T-shirt and shorts"
synonyms: baggy, loose-fitting, easy-fitting, generously cut, slack, roomy, boyfriend; More
1. set free; release.
"the hounds have been loosed"
synonyms: free, set free, unloose, turn loose, set loose, let loose, let go, release, liberate; More
Similar-sounding words
loose is sometimes confused with lose


Jet City mom said...

I don’t imagine there are many students who are not attending SPS that are receiving support.

My child qualified for an hour of pullout everyday, when she was K-8.
She attended private school for k-2.
The reason she attended a school that only had 25 students and three full time teachers, is because her special needs required much more than an hour of pull out a day.

Additionally, while I considered having her attend pullout to receive occupational therapy, it was not available at the closest public elementary school to her private school, which was unfortunate as someone from her private school would have walked her over when needed.

Instead, what SPS had in mind, was for her to be picked up by taxi and taken to our neighborhood school, which would have meant she missed at least two hours of her school day for likely minimal return.

A few things made this a no go.

First, one of the main reasons she was not attending our neighborhood school was not only that the class size was overwhelming to her ( along with the noise level), but that I had a problem with the teaching style of the SPED teacher that she would have been working with.
I did not think techniques such as shaming, and taking away desired activities like recess, work well in the long run with young children.

I also was disturbed that SPS thought that random taxi drivers were a suitable option for transportation, given that she would often not ride in a car with male family members, and tended to do things like flee or attempt to if put in that situation.

Anonymous said...

Do you hear that sound? It's the latch on pandora's box being opened.

Thank you to Ms. Harris.


Melissa Westbrook said...

We’ll be closing here.

I say to SPS SPED and Nope - no more cryptic comments. Explain yourself or don’t post.